Tuesday, May 19, 2009

You're invited....

...to a memorable evening featuring music by the children of the St. Joseph School band, cocktails, and hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction and more!

A friend of mine is organizing the event in support of the school's Music and Extended Day program. As a former band member I know the importance of music in education and its confidence building capacity. I played the flute from 4th grade up through high school and developed great self-esteem in doing so. Being able to master my instrument and play with a group is an experience I remember fondly and one I hope to pass on to my own children some day.

If you are in the NYC area please check out this event and support music education at St. Joseph's!

Check out the invitation >

Get your ticket now >

Read about the St. Joseph School Band in the Wall Street Journal >

For more information, please contact Fiona O'Sullivan at (718) 583-9432 ext 3 or at stjosephbronx@gmail.com


Equality Now Challenges Sale of RapeLay Game

The sale of a computer game, RapeLay, that simulates rape (yes seriously) in Japan is being challenged by Equality Now!

This game is absolutely appalling! I wrote about it a while back on Care2 and was shocked when I discovered the gruesome details of the game - repeated rape, forced abortions, gang bangs, sexual slavery. All of this is the name of "fun" because after all this is a game, right? What kind of a sick game is this and what kind of a sick person would play?

AHHHHHH! Violence against women and girls is not a game. Trivializing the issue in this matter is reprehensible and only serves to perpetuate the problem, not to mention the slap in the face it gives to the thousands of women that are victimized by sexually violent crimes every year.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that is angry and even more glad that Equality Now has taken the initiative to challenge the sale of the game and all forms of hentia in Japan!

Read more at Care2 and learn what you can do to help!


Another Reason Why I love Nicholas Kristof

Nicholas Kristof does it again with a compelling op-ed that highlights a women's rights issue that is so often overlooked by the media - maternal mortality.

According to the World Health Organization, Sierra Leone has the highest maternal mortality in the world, and in several African countries, 1 woman in 10 ends up dying in childbirth.

It’s pretty clear that if men were dying at these rates, the United Nations Security Council would be holding urgent consultations, and a country such as this would appoint a minister of paternal mortality. Yet half-a-million women die annually from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth without attracting much interest because the victims are typically among the most voiceless people in the world: impoverished, rural, uneducated and female.

The types of pregnancy-related deaths the women Kristof writes about could be easily preventable at a very low costs but all around the world women are literally dying to become mothers. This is completely unjust and reprehensible. Women can be saved in childbirth but only if, as Kristof says, "...their lives become a priority."

Read Kristof's op-ed in full >


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Slap in the Face for Saudi Arabian Women - Literally!

Married couples fight for all sorts of reasons, finances at the top of the list especially with today’s economy, but in Saudi Arabia disputes over money may soon take a turn for the worse.

Speaking at a domestic violence conference in the country, Judge Hamad Al-Razine has said that it is ok for men to slap their wives if they spend wastefully.

Yes seriously! Seriously ridiculous!

Read more at Care2 >


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Drive-through" Mastectomies

I am fortunate enough to not know anyone in my family or circle of friends who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Many others are not as lucky as me and when I read of the practice of "drive-through" mastectomies I was horrified and angered.

How is it just (or safe for that matter) to discharge a patient only a few hours after having such invasive surgery? How would you feel if you were the patient? Or it was your mother or sister or friend?

Read more at Care2 and learn what you can do to help! >


Friday, May 8, 2009

Bad Ass Feminist: Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is a pretty unbelievable woman and a pretty badass feminist if you ask me.

Not only does she work to end violence against women with VDAY ( Do you remember last year when she said cunt on the Today show and the world freaked out? Priceless.) but did you know that she is also the founder and chairwoman of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. Amazing!

This week she authored an editorial in the Atlantic Journal Constitution about teen pregnancy that rocked! Below are my favorite highlights:

"...Too often, issues of teen sexuality are described in moral terms, especially by politicians who seem to care more about getting headlines than admitting what does and doesn’t work. But here’s what is really immoral: leaving in place unrealistic ideas and ineffective programs that don’t address the serious problem of teen pregnancy, one whose impact will be felt well into the future...."

"It’s misguided to focus exclusively on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, which have been shown repeatedly, and over time, to be ineffective. All of us should do everything we can to persuade our elected officials to reverse this failed policy.

Let me be clear: I’m not against abstinence. Deciding to wait to have sex is a smart choice for young people. But I wasn’t born yesterday, and I know many teens are going to have sex, like it or not. Given this reality, it’s not the “abstinence” that’s the problem. It’s the 'only.'"

Jane Fonda, you just get it. Amen sister!

Read Jane Fonda's editorial in full >

Check out Jane Fonda on Larry King Live >

Check out Jane Fonda performing the Vagina Monoglogues >


Thursday, May 7, 2009

North Korea Women treated as "Livestock"

Imagine being sold to an older disabled man for $585 – a man who is only the first of a number of men you are forced to marry.

Imagine having to do 100 squats followed by 100 laps around a soccer field only to finish and endure an intense beating.

Imagine being forced to terminate a pregnancy by having two men stand on a plank that was placed on your pregnant belly and then losing not only your child’s life but yours as well.

Women from North Korea know this unbearable treatment all too well – for them it is reality.

Read more at Care2 >


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Follow my every move

I have finally jumped on the Twitter bandwagon so now you can follow my every move!

Check out what I'm up to by using the right hand navigation or why not follow me on twitter!

If you have any tricks of the trade or tips for using twitter to publicize my little old home here or at Care2 please let me know! Thanks kids!


National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Today, as we recognize the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy we are reminded all too well of statistics that reveal that the teen birth rate is on the rise:

  • 3 out of 10 American teens get pregnant every year
  • Less than half of these girls finish high school
  • 8 out of 10 don't marry the fathers of their babies
This morning on "Good Morning America" Bristol Palin did her first live TV interview where she advocated and promoted abstinence as the "best" choice for young women. A new teen ambassador for the Candie's Foundation, Bristol's message today is very different from comments she previously made on Fox news. that abstinence was "unrealistic." Today she says her comments were taken out of context and that she believes young women should abstain from sex regardless of what she did personally.

Personally, I disagree. I think if we are going to have any crack at reducing the escalating teen pregnancy rates we are going to have to provide teenagers with comprehensive sex education that teaches them both about abstinence and contraception. We need to power teenagers with knowledge so if and when they do decide to have sex (which many of them do) they have the tools (condoms, birth control, emergency contraception, etc) to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.

Another thing - when I saw that Bristol was a teen ambassador for the Candie's Foundation I had to look it up because I was certain it wasn't the same Candie's that sells sexy shoes to young women but alas I was wrong. It is that Candies and if you take a look at the website and you will instantly see that sex (although teens shouldn't be doing it, right?) sells! They currently have a promotion with Britney Spears - a single young unwed mother whose famous sister is a teen mom herself - where she is pictured with a bikini top and suggestive smile and nothing else. So the message is that you can dress sexy and be sexy but you shouldn't think about sex let alone have sex and if you do, well Candie's is there to tell you all about the "devastating consequences" but not to help you avoid them - nope you're on your own there.

Don't get me wrong. I think it is admirable that Candie's wants to do its part to help reduce teen pregnancy and clever that they are using a celebrity hook to talk to teens BUT while they aim to raise awareness of this serious problem, they fail to give these teens the tools to avoid the very problem - getting pregnant. Someone has too so if you have any teens in your life I suggest you take some time today to talk to them about sex and teach them how to protect themselves!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lilith Fair in 2010

This is amazing!!! I may be a little late on this news but seriously amazing!

It has been confirmed at Billboard.com that Lilith Fair will return in 2010! So far it has only been reported that the festival will do a two-week stunt in the UK and Europe. No word on the US yet, but I'm willing to travel to see this!

Let it be known that Lilith Fair raised over $10 million for women's charities when in ran from 1997-1999 and that '97 it garnered a $16 million gross making it the top-grossing touring festival of all time! Talk about Girl Power!

And who knows maybe I'll be able to kill two birds with one stone and get both Lilith Fair and Sister Act in one fabulous UK trip (yes they are remaking Sister Act the movie into a musical in the UK and YES I LOVE IT!)


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another Reason Why I love Nicholas Kristof

A while back I wrote a post for Care2 about the backlog of rape kits in CA that have gone untested. I was outraged by the Human Rights Report that made this discovery and was even more outraged that the issue wasn't getting the attention it deserved.

Finally though last week I came across a column by one of my all time favorite columnists Nicholas Kristof who was just as outraged as I was!

"Some Americans used to argue that it was impossible to rape an unwilling woman. Few people say that today, or say publicly that a woman 'asked for it' if she wore a short skirt. But the refusal to test rape kits seems a throwback to the same antediluvian skepticism about rape as a traumatic crime..."

"It’s what we might expect in Afghanistan, not in the United States."

The only silver lining:

"New York City has made a concerted effort over the last decade to test every kit that comes in. The result has been at least 2,000 cold hits in rape cases, and the arrest rate for reported cases of rape in New York City rose from 40 percent to 70 percent, according to Human Rights Watch." (emphasis mine)

Check out my piece on Care2 >
Read Nicholas Kristof's column >